H Gann

Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (44)126.16 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Goal of the presented study is to evaluate whether alcohol-dependent patients given additional individual psychotherapy after a heavy relapse during pharmacotherapy remain abstinent for longer than those who continue with pharmacotherapy alone. In a randomized, multicenter study, 109 alcohol-dependent patients who had suffered a heavy relapse either while receiving anticraving medication or placebo were randomized into 2 groups. One group received medication, medical management, and additional individual, disorder-specific, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, while the control group received medication and medical management only. Main outcome was defined as days until first heavy relapse. Fifty-four patients were randomized to the psychotherapy group, 55 to the control group. Intention-to-treat and completer analyses found no differences between groups, whereas as-treated analyses (patients who actually received psychotherapy compared with those who did not) found a significant effect of psychotherapy. Our data indicate that patients that are willing to attend psychotherapy benefit from receiving psychotherapy in addition to pharmacotherapy. We suggest that it may be beneficial to consider patients' preferences concerning psychotherapy at an earlier stage during treatment.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 04/2014; 38(4):1118-1125. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This explorative survey investigated clients' evaluation of therapy elements and other supportive factors within a randomized controlled trial. The treatment of patients with alcohol dependence consisted of pharmacotherapy (acamprosate/naltrexone/placebo) and biweekly medical management (MM). Forty-nine study participants were surveyed with a questionnaire to measure both the patients' satisfaction with the therapy and the subjective assessment of treatment elements and supportive factors.Study participants were highly satisfied with the treatment. The supportive factors previously identified by Orford et al1 were confirmed. 'Pharmacotherapy' was rated significantly less effective than 'MM' and 'global study attendance' (P < 0.001). The significant differences in the evaluation of treatment elements point to a preference for regular low-key contacts rather than for medication. Such contacts based on MM could be a useful intervention in clinical care, and its effectivity should be examined more closely in further research.
    Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 01/2011; 5:27-34.
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of this investigation was the therapists' subjective assessment of the Alcoholism Specific Psychotherapy (ASP) in practice. By means of a specifically designed questionnaire, we conducted a survey of 21 psychotherapists trained in the method, and performed a descriptive and qualitative analysis. Of the 21 therapists who participated in the survey, 13 in total used the complete ASP, and 14 parts thereof. Out of a mean of 12.7 (SD = 16.0) psychotherapies administered to alcohol dependents, 22 % were treated with ASP. Individual elements of ASP were implemented in 18 therapies of non alcohol dependent patients. The global rating of each of the four general aspects (ease of application, practical relevance, client acceptance and ASP in comparison to other manualized psychotherapies) was a median value of 3 on a 5 step rating scale, or "pretty satisfied". The application of the 20 modules varied from 19 to 94 %. 50 % rated ASP's degree of structure as "too much". The results of the survey show that ASP is rated largely positively, and used partially and selectively by most psychotherapists.
    PPmP - Psychotherapie · Psychosomatik · Medizinische Psychologie 03/2009; 59(11):416-22. · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Alcoholism represents a major public health issue and treating alcohol dependent patients remains an imminent challenge. Evidence based psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies are available. However, when administered to heterogeneous populations of patients effect sizes are only modest. We present the rationale and design of a double-blind randomized trial comparing acamprosate, naltrexone, and placebo. Additionally we subtype patients on the basis of biological and psychometric measures and explore their treatment response to both acamprosate and naltrexone. According to our initial hypothesis, the "relief drinker/craver" is an endophenotype associated with glutamatergic dysfunction who responds to acamprosate. The "reward drinker/craver" is mainly associated with alterations in the dopaminergic and opioidergic system and responds to naltrexone. METHODS: The study is planned for 430 patients (2:2:1 for both drugs and placebo) over 12 weeks of medication. All receive manualized counselling to improve compliance (Medical Management) which is extended to 6 months. Subtyping is primarily done using the acoustic startle reflex, functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography (in a subset of patients), and the Inventory of Drinking Situations. Relapsers will be re-randomized into a second study where additional psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioral Intervention) is used in a stepped care approach. Genotyping and additional analyses such as health economy are being done as well. The study follows the assessment methods, treatments, and medications used in the U.S. based COMBINE study, which will allow for a direct comparison between this U.S. study trial and a study performed in Europe.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2009; 33(4):674-83. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background : Aim of this investigation was the therapists’ subjective assessment of the Alcoholism Specific Psychotherapy (ASP) in practice. By means of a specifically designed questionnaire, we conducted a survey of 21 psychotherapists trained in the method, and performed a descriptive and qualitative analysis. Results: Of the 21 therapists who participated in the survey, 13 in total treated with ASP, and 14 used parts thereof. Out of a mean of 12.7 (SD = 16.0) psychotherapies administered with alcohol dependents, 22% were treated with ASP. Individual elements of ASP were implemented in 18 therapies of non alcohol dependent patients. The global rating of each of the four general aspects (ease of application, practical relevance, client acceptance and ASP in comparison to other manualized psychotherapies) was a median value of 3 on a 5 step rating scale, or "pretty satisfied". The application of the 20 modules varied from 19 to 94%. 50% rated ASP's degree of structure as "too much". Discussion: The results of the survey show that ASP is accepted by psychotherapists, and is rated largely positively. Key words: Alcoholism, psychotherapy, subjective assessment, evaluation of therapy manual
    Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie - PSYCHOTHER PSYCHOSOM MED PSYC. 01/2009; 59(11):416-422.
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    ABSTRACT: To provide an overview over empirical evidence regarding stepped care approaches that include psychotherapies. To present own preliminary study results in alcohol dependent patients. Publications were searched in the databases Medline, PsycINFO and the internet search engine Google Scholar. Inclusion criteria were psychosocial treatment and psychiatric disorders. Our own study consists of two steps. In step 1 patients receive anti-craving medication or placebo and Medical Management (MM). After a relapse to heavy drinking patients can step up and after randomization they either continue with the same treatment or they receive additional alcoholism specific psychotherapy (ASP). Evidence suggests that stepped care might be efficacious in patients with obsessive-compulsive behavior and depression. There is no evidence for efficacy in problem drinkers. Results of our own study show that the completer rate in MM alone is higher than in ASP with MM, but there are no significant differences concerning age, sex and disease severity between completer and non-completer in both study arms. Further research with regard to stepped care in alcohol dependent patients is needed. An introduction of the psychotherapy at earlier stages might be sensible.
    International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 07/2008; 17 Suppl 1:S60-4. · 1.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the endocannabinoid system is implicated in the development of alcohol dependence. In addition, in animal models, the cannabinoid receptor 1 blocker rimonabant was found to decrease alcohol consumption, possibly by indirect modulation of dopaminergic neurotransmission. This was a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept study to assess the possible efficacy of the cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist rimonabant 20 mg/d (2 x 10 mg) in the prevention of relapse to alcohol in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients. A total of 260 patients were included, 258 were exposed to medication, and 208 (80.6%) were men. Patients had an alcohol history of 15 years on average. More patients in the rimonabant group (94/131 [71.8%]) completed treatment compared with the placebo group (79/127 [62.2%]). Although there was a modest effect of rimonabant with respect to relapse rate, there were no statistically significant differences between treatment groups. Approximately 41.5% of the rimonabant group had relapsed to drinking at the end of the study compared with 47.7% of the placebo group (obtained from Kaplan-Meier-curve). Differences were more marked but not statistically significant in patients who relapsed to heavy drinking: 27.7% versus 35.6%, respectively. Safety and tolerance of the drug were good. Similar rates of adverse events were reported between the 2 groups; less patients experienced serious events or discontinued the treatment with rimonabant compared with placebo. Rates of depression-related events were low (3.8% with rimonabant compared with 1.6% with placebo). Patients on rimonabant lost weight (Mean, -1.7 kg) compared with baseline, whereas there was no such change in the placebo group. Weight loss was more pronounced in patients with a higher body mass index. In addition, there was a significant decrease in leptin levels in the rimonabant group compared with baseline. Lack of efficacy in this study may be explained by a very high response rate in the placebo group and a relatively short treatment duration. Taking the substantial numbers of animal studies suggesting a possible role of CB1 antagonists for the treatment of alcohol dependence into account, it seems worthwhile to further test cannabinoid blockers in the treatment of alcoholism.
    Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 07/2008; 28(3):317-24. · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysfunctional hyperarousal is suspected to be a neurophysiological determinant of relapse in abstinent alcohol-dependent patients. In the present study, we used spectral power analysis of the sleep electroencephalographic (EEG) to quantify brain activity during sleep in patients during subacute withdrawal as well as in control subjects. Our hypothesis was that the subgroup of patients who relapsed within the 3 months to follow-up would exhibit-increased dysfunctional arousal manifested by higher-frequency (beta) EEG power during sleep. Twenty-six alcohol-dependent in-patients were examined with polysomnography over 2 nights 2 to 3 weeks after withdrawal. At the 3-month clinical follow-up assessment, 12 of them had relapsed and 14 abstained. The control group consisted of 23 healthy subjects similar to the patients with alcohol dependence in age and gender distribution. Spectral sleep EEG analysis was performed on both nights (adaptation and baseline) of all subjects. Logarithmic artifact-controlled spectral band power of sleep stage 2 and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was analyzed for Group, Gender, and Age effects using multiple analyses of covariance. Three groups were compared with the Group factor: relapsers, abstainers, and controls. Generally, both Group and Age effects were significant for the second, baseline night for the visually scored sleep parameters, while spectral EEG parameters showed significant differences in the adaptation night. In the adaptation night, a significant enhancement in the beta2 band (24-32 Hz) was seen in REM sleep in relapsers relative to both abstainers and controls. The beta2 increase could be interpreted as a sign of dysfunctional arousal during REM sleep "unmasked" by the additional stressor of sleep environment adaptation. Its determinants are likely to be both premorbid and drinking history related.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2007; 31(1):19-27. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: After studying the sleep of alcohol-dependent patients at the beginning and over the course of abstinence in earlier studies, our interest in the current study focused on the direct effect of 2 doses of alcohol [0.03 and 0.1% blood alcohol level (BAL)] on healthy sleep. This is the first polysomnographic study testing the impact of 2 doses of alcohol ingestion (thus reflecting "normal" social drinking and alcohol abuse) in a single-blind randomized design in healthy volunteers. The study evaluated a short-term acute drinking period for 3 and 2 days of withdrawal from alcohol not only for polysomnographic variables but also for subjective estimates of sleep quality. In a crossover design with a 1-week interval, healthy subjects received alcohol to raise their blood alcohol to either 0.03 or 0.1% BAL at bedtime for 3 consecutive nights after an alcohol-free baseline night. Objective (polysomnography) and subjective sleep (questionnaires) was recorded each night. During the following 2 days, alcohol was discontinued with simultaneous measurements of sleep to gauge withdrawal effects. At a dose of alcohol leading to BAL of 0.03%, no clear effects could be detected. Following an evening BAL of 0.1%, a hypnotic-like effect (shortened sleep latency, reduced number of wake periods, decreased stage 1 sleep) occurred primarily during the first half of the night with signs of rebound effects being already present during the second half of the night (increased stage 1 sleep). At this dose, alcohol significantly increased slow-wave sleep (SWS) in the first half of the night and reduced REM density in the beginning of the night. After discontinuation of the higher alcohol dose, REM sleep amount increased. No significant withdrawal or rebound effects could be observed for parameters of sleep continuity during the 2 nights after discontinuation from alcohol at a BAL of 0.1%. Owing to the small sample size, the results of this study need to be interpreted with caution. Short-term moderate alcohol consumption (BAL 0.03%) did not significantly alter objective or subjective parameters of sleep. Higher doses of alcohol resulting in a BAL level of 0.10% immediately before going to bed mainly influenced sleep in the first half of the night, resembling the effects of a short-acting hypnotic drug, including a suppression of phasic aspects of REM sleep (REM density). Interestingly, analysis of the latter part of these nights indicated the immediate presence of withdrawal effects (increased light sleep). No statistically significant effects on sleep parameters were observable during the 2 nights of withdrawal from alcohol at the higher BAL. Interpreted carefully, our data indicate that negative effects on sleep occur already with short-term use of alcohol at doses of BAL of 0.10%, despite hypnotic-like effects during the first hours of sleep, especially during the latter part of the night.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 10/2006; 30(9):1527-37. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clomethiazole is widely used in European countries to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms including delirium tremens. The current study aimed to explore the effects of clomethiazole on the sleep of healthy volunteers. We postulated both a hypnotic and a REM suppressive effect as well as the occurrence of a rebound phenomenon following three days of treatment with clomethiazole. The study group was composed of five men and five women. The probands were examined in the sleep laboratory throughout a course of seven nights. The first night was considered as the adaptation night and the second as the baseline night. Prior to nights 3 to 5, probands took 384 mg clomethiazole at 22 hours. The 6th and 7th nights served to record potential effects of medication discontinuation. The current study confirms the indication in the scientific literature with regard to hypnotic and REM-suppressive effects of clomethiazole, as well as a rebound phenomenon following discontinuation of the medication. The effect of clomethiazole on the sleep EEG was most obvious in the first half of the night. The analysis of the polysomnogram in terms of each half of the night gave no indication of a rebound phenomenon during the second half. The REM sleep-suppressing component of clomethiazole is of great interest in connection with its use in treating delirium tremens. The rebound phenomenon in healthy controls after only three days of medication at a relatively low dosage of clomethiazole underscores the need to administer it in doses individually tailored to the extent of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome in the individual patient.
    European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 09/2005; 255(4):284-90. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep electroencephalogram alterations and insomnia complaints persist after alcohol withdrawal in dependent patients and are considered strong predictors of relapse. Although disturbances of magnesium household due to alcohol consumption are well known, the relationship of magnesium metabolism and sleep disturbances has not been investigated in this patient group. We conducted an open pilot study to evaluate the effects of magnesium treatment on the sleep of primary alcohol-dependent patients during subacute withdrawal. Patients were treated with 30 mmol magnesium daily over 4 weeks. Eleven of the 14 included patients were evaluated. Patients were free of any kind of psychotropic medication or other substances known to influence sleep. Polysomnographic recordings with monitoring of periodic leg movements in sleep (PLMS) were performed for two consecutive nights 2 weeks after acute withdrawal (baseline) and 4 weeks later at the end of the treatment period. After the baseline polysomnography, patients were investigated by the magnesium loading test to verify magnesium depletion. We found a significant decrease of sleep onset latency from 40.6 to 21.7 min (p = 0.03) and a significant improvement of subjective sleep quality, as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, from 8.1 to 5.8 (p = 0.05) during magnesium treatment. Changes in PLMS indices revealed two subgroups of patients: one with an increase of PLMS from 30.7 to 39.4 per hour of sleep (n = 4) and the other one with a decrease of PLMS from 8.9 to 2.1 per hour of sleep (p = 0.04). Patients with PLMS decreases seemed to have a more favorable prognosis: total sleep time, gamma-glutamyltransferase, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, and Beck Depression Inventory scores improved significantly during treatment in this group. The magnesium loading test revealed a magnesium deficiency in only one patient, five patients showed normal retention values, and the remaining five patients had an increased magnesium excretion, indicating a possible continued renal magnesium loss during abstinence. The results of this study should be interpreted with caution, because no control group with placebo was investigated. Both subjective and, partly, objective parameters of sleep improved during the 4-week study period. Further research is needed to clarify the relationship of magnesium metabolism and sleep alterations.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 12/2004; 28(11):1702-9. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was designed to assess if the routine application of clomethiazole to ameliorate withdrawal symptoms in chronic alcohol dependent patients perpetuates sleep disturbances. Twenty inpatients with alcohol dependence according to DSM-IV criteria received clomethiazole or placebo in a double-blind, randomized design upon admission. 11 patients were randomized to the clomethiazole group and 9 patients to the placebo group. During the first 5 days of treatment the patients received either clomethiazole (1st day: 3 x 384 mg, 2nd day: 4 x 384 mg, 3rd day: 3 x 384 mg, 4th day: 2 x 384 mg and 5th day: 1 x 384 mg) or placebo capsules at constant intervals. The patients spent two consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory at each of three assessment times: the first time at the beginning of abstinence (night 1 and 2, T0), the second time 6 days later (i. e. after 5 days of treatment and one day of discontinuation of clomethiazole or placebo: nights 6 and 7, T1) and the third time after 13 days (nights 13 and 14, T2). The first night at each of the three assessment times was an adaptation night. During the first two weeks of abstinence, the analysis of variance demonstrated a significant variation of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep variables in the clomethiazole group. The placebo group showed no such variation. Clomethiazole evidently had a pronounced REM sleep suppressing effect, whereas the discontinuation of clomethiazole led to a REM sleep rebound. Furthermore, analysis of sleep continuity and sleep architecture variables showed that the clomethiazole group had significantly disturbed sleep at T1 in comparison to the placebo group. Simultaneous statistical testing with alcohol intake as covariate reduced the test power so that contrasts between the groups became nonsignificant. The REM sleep results are in line with earlier findings that REM sleep disinhibition in primary alcohol dependency is partly due to a REM sleep rebound after withdrawal from medication. Differences in the polysomnographic variables of sleep continuitiy and sleep architecture at T0 and T1 found between the clomethiazole and the placebo patients correspond to rebound insomnia following discontinuation of clomethiazole. Our findings indicate that drugs enforcing GABAergic neurotransmission may perpetuate the neuroadaptative effects caused by chronic alcohol consumption.
    Pharmacopsychiatry 10/2004; 37(5):228-35. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complex neurobiological models based on animal research have been formulated in an attempt to explain the cyclic pattern of nonREM and REM sleep. The "reciprocal interaction model" of nonREM and REM sleep regulation, which has been updated to incorporate new evidence is still the most convincing. Therefore it is reasonable to apply this model also to REM sleep abnormalities such as shortened REM latency and increased REM density, observed in patients with depression and alcohol dependency. In a retrospective analysis baseline data from 40 subjects with primary alcohol dependency are compared with a group of 40 patients diagnosed with major depression (diagnoses according to DSM-III-R) and healthy subjects. All alcohol dependent patients were examined in the sleep laboratory during subacute withdrawal at least 7 days off medication and after at least 14 days of abstinence. The patients with major depression (at least 7 days off psychoactive medication) and the healthy subjects had been examined previously by polysomnography during the last few years in the context of various studies and were assembled from our database to match the group of alcohol dependent patients with respect to age and sex. Alcohol dependent patients exhibited similar disturbances in sleep continuity and REM sleep as depressed patients in comparison to healthy controls while parameters of sleep architecture were even more strongly disturbed in alcohol dependence. While enhanced sensitivity of cholinergic receptors is the most likely explanation for the increase in "REM pressure" in depressives, this appears not to apply to alcoholics, who rather exhibit a decreased response to cholinergic stimulation. Thus, according to the reciprocal interaction model of nonREM- and REM sleep regulation and in contrast to the interpretation of the findings in depressed patients, an impaired aminergic rather than an increased cholinergic neurotransmission might be responsible for the increased REM sleep pressure in alcohol dependent patients. Alternatively or in addition the REM anomalies in alcoholic patients could also be due to adaptive regulatory processes during chronic alcohol consumption that lead to downregulation of GABA(A)- and upregulation of NMDA-receptors or their intracellular signalling and become apparent with alcohol withdrawal. Such adaptive counterregulation might also explain the alterations in slow wave sleep found in alcoholics that are even more pronounced in these patients than in patients with major depression.
    European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 09/2004; 254(4):263-71. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article deals with the effects of alcohol on sleep and sleep EEG of healthy individuals and alcohol-dependent patients during different phases of alcohol dependency. Healthy individuals initially experience an improvement in sleep, although a greater quantity of alcohol can lead to problems of sleep maintenance during the second half of the night. Pre-existing sleep deprivation or sleep restriction potentiates the effects of alcohol. Alcohol-dependent patients are found to be more prone to sleep problems than healthy individuals, which can facilitate the development of alcoholism. These patients experience difficulty falling asleep and suffer from a reduced total sleep time during all phases of the disorder, often accompanied by other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea syndrome or periodic leg movements during sleep. Certain predictors for the risk of relapse in abstinent alcoholics have been identified. Neurobiological findings in sleep and alcohol dependency are discussed. The cholinergic-aminergic reciprocal interaction model of REM and non-REM sleep regulation is significant in this context. Therapeutic implications are discussed.
    Der Nervenarzt 06/2004; 75(5):431-41. · 0.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Die Auswirkungen von Alkohol auf den Schlaf und das Schlaf-EEG bei Gesunden und Alkoholabhngigen in den verschiedenen Phasen der Abhngigkeit werden dargestellt. Gesunde schlafen zunchst besser. Eine hhere Dosis kann aber zur Durchschlafstrung in der 2. Nachthlfte fhren. Alkohol interagiert mit einer vorhergehenden Schlafdeprivation oder -restriktion.Schlafstrungen finden sich hufiger bei Alkoholkranken als bei Gesunden und knnen die Entwicklung einer Alkoholerkrankung begnstigen. Bei Alkoholkranken finden sich in allen Phasen der Erkrankung Einschlafstrungen und eine verminderte Gesamtschlafzeit sowie berzufllig hufig andere Schlafstrungen, wie Schlafapnoe-Syndrom oder periodische Beinbewegungen im Schlaf. . Es fanden sich Prdiktoren fr ein erhhtes Rckfallrisiko bei abstinenten Alkoholkranken.Die Neurobiologie des Schlafs und der Alkoholabhngigkeit wird diskutiert. Eine wichtige Bedeutung kommt hierbei dem cholinerg-aminergen reziproken Interaktionsmodell der REM- und Non-REM-Schlafregulation zu. Therapeutische Implikationen werden diskutiert.This article deals with the effects of alcohol on sleep and sleep EEG of healthy individuals and alcohol-dependent patients during different phases of alcohol dependency.Healthy individuals initially experience an improvement in sleep, although a greater quantity of alcohol can lead to problems of sleep maintenance during the second half of the night. Preexisting sleep deprivation or sleep restriction potentiates the effects of alcohol.Alcohol-dependent patients are found to be more prone to sleep problems than healthy individuals, which can facilitate the development of alcoholism. These patients experience difficulty falling asleep and suffer from a reduced total sleep time during all phases of the disorder, often accompanied by other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea syndrome or periodic leg movements during sleep. Certain predictors for the risk of relapse in abstinent alcoholics have been identified.Neurobiological findings in sleep and alcohol dependency are discussed. The cholinergic-aminergic reciprocal interaction model of REM and non-REM sleep regulation is significant in this context. Therapeutic implications are discussed.
    Der Nervenarzt 04/2004; 75(5):431-441. · 0.80 Impact Factor
  • Alcoholism-clinical and Experimental Research - ALCOHOL CLIN EXP RES. 01/2004; 28.
  • Alcoholism-clinical and Experimental Research - ALCOHOL CLIN EXP RES. 01/2004; 28.
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    ABSTRACT: A case with transient, almost complete sleep loss caused by cerebral manifestation of Whipple's disease (WD) is presented. Cerebral WD is rare and in most cases occurs after gastrointestinal infection. In our case, a progressive and finally almost complete sleep loss was the initial and predominant symptom. Polysomnographic studies in several consecutive nights and over 24 h showed a total abolition of the sleep-wake cycle with nocturnal sleep duration of less than 15 min. Endocrine tests revealed hypothalamic dysfunction with flattening of circadian rhythmicity of cortisol, TSH, growth hormone and melatonin. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin was reduced. [18F]Deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) revealed hypermetabolic areas in cortical and subcortical areas including the brainstem, which might explain sleep pathology and vertical gaze palsy. In the course of treatment with antibiotics and additional carbamazepine for 1 year, insomnia slowly and gradually improved. Endocrine investigations at 1-year follow-up showed persistent flattening of circadian rhythmicity. The FDG-PET indicated normalized metabolism in distinct regions of the brain stem which paralleled restoration of sleep length. The extent of sleep disruption in this case of organic insomnia was similar to cases of familial fatal insomnia, but was at least partially reversible with treatment.
    Journal of Sleep Research 01/2003; 11(4):321-9. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Contrary to event-related potential (ERP) components N1, N2 and P3, slow ERPs have rarely been used in assessing cerebral dysfunction in mental disorders. Focussing on slow waves (SWs) and on patients with mild cerebral dysfunction, we recorded ERPs in alcoholics using a dual task design. ERPs to auditory probes presented either 1s before the warning or 1s before the imperative stimulus of a visual contingent negative variation (CNV) paradigm were recorded from 33 scalp electrodes in 27 alcoholics following detoxification and 12 healthy controls. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used to separate potentially overlapping spatial components. In alcoholics compared to controls, probe ERPs showed increased N2, decreased P3 and increased negative SWs of two types appearing pre- and post-P3, respectively. Both negative SWs significantly correlated with neuropsychological indices reflecting verbal intelligence and memory functions. The increase in probe-evoked N1 and P3 potentials during CNV, putatively associated with enhanced cortical excitability, significantly correlated with clinical features of protracted alcohol withdrawal syndrome in alcoholics. Our experimental approach revealed two types of negative SWs which strongly correlated with neuropsychological deficits of mildly impaired patients. It is suggested that our methods might enhance diagnostic efficiency of ERPs. An electrophysiological measure of protracted alcohol withdrawal might be useful for managing central nervous system dysfunction in alcoholics.
    Clinical Neurophysiology 07/2002; 113(6):815-25. · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complaints of sleep disturbances are common among alcohol dependent patients during subacute abstinence. Recovered patients may show persistent sleep abnormalities for months or even years. In the present study we studied the issue whether periodic limb movements in sleep and disturbances of nocturnal respiration are more frequent in alcohol dependent patients than healthy subjects and may be of predictive value for sustained abstinence vs. relapse after withdrawal. Forty alcohol dependent patients spent three nights in the sleep laboratory at three time points: 2 to 3 weeks after withdrawal (T0) and at follow-up investigations 6 (T1) and 12 (T2) months after discharge from the hospital. Measurements of PLMS-arousal index and nocturnal respiration were performed during the first laboratory night of each measurement point. Alcohol dependent patients displayed a significantly enhanced PLMS-arousal index at T0 compared to age- and gender-matched healthy subjects, whereas no alterations of nocturnal respiration were found.The PLMS-arousal index at T0 was significantly elevated in patients who relapsed during the next 6 months compared to abstinent patients. In a discriminant function analysis the PLMS-arousal index classified 55 % of the patients correctly with respect to outcome after 6 months. It correctly predicted 80 % of abstainers and 44 % of the patients who relapsed. According to neurobiological models of the generation of PLMS and the etiopathology of alcohol dependence a genetically determined vulnerability of the dopaminergic system is discussed as a factor underlying an increased risk of relapse in a subgroup of alcohol dependent patients.
    European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 07/2002; 252(3):124-9. · 3.20 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

542 Citations
126.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1992–2009
    • Central Institute of Mental Health
      • • Klinik für Abhängiges Verhalten und Suchtmedizin
      • • Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
      Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1994–2007
    • University of Freiburg
      Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2004–2006
    • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
      • Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
      Freiburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 2001
    • Universität zu Lübeck
      Lübeck Hansestadt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany